Posted by: ericgrimsrud | July 21, 2019

Understanding our not so representative government

In trying to address any issue of national importance, including climate change, it is essential to understand what our present political system is and where it came from. In particular, it is necessary to understand why, in a country that claims to have a one-person, one-vote electoral process, aren’t the interests of the low-to-middle income citizens more evident. Afterall, the low-to-middle income groups constitute the vast majority of Americans. So why, for example, would the bulk of workers have salaries and benefits that are typically much less than 1% of those of the CEO’s and upper management class. And since the extremely wealthy constitutes less than a few percent of our total population, why are our tax laws so disproportionally favorable to them. And why does the sum total of the bottom 50% of our population makes so much less than that of the top 5% while that bottom 50% struggles to secure basic amenities, such as health care and university educations for their children. While some might think these enormous differences are justified, it is nevertheless an enigma to ponder how we came go have this contradictory system – a one-person, one-vote electoral system along with vast differences in personal incomes and benefits. I will give that explanation my best shot here.

First, try to imagine the challenge presented to the Republican Party in preparing for  elections. Their main objective today is to keep as much money as possible in the pockets of the top 5% via the passage of legislation favorable to them. In order to do that they need to gain control of much of congress and the Presidency. But how can they do that if their main issues benefit only the top 5% of the voting public? If they were honest in expressing their real objective, they would be hammered at the polls.

The GOP’s answer to this has been to get as many votes as they can from various splinter groups in the country by endorsing the fringe issues that are of central importance to those groups. Thus, we find the Republicans leading the charge on various controversial side issues that are of little importance to the wealthy. These issues might concern abortion, religion, gender and racial inequality, gun control, and immigration policies, for examples. Some of these are hot button issues and have great potential for securing votes from the so-called “base” of our new-age Republican Party.  Thus, this new Republican Party now consists of a few multimillionaires and a massive collection of oddball, single-issue enthusiasts.

Then President Trump enters this scene and becomes a superstar within the Republican Party – because he is so widely admired by “his base” who bring in those old ball votes. While his antics in presenting himself and the phony issues of his party are viewed as deplorable by Democrats and Independents, they are a source of delight for the Republicans. The worse Trump behaves and the more irresponsible his views, the more his base loves him. In his way, Donald Trump has helped the Republicans win offices throughout the USA during the last several years and has simultaneously made our country appear to be that “basket of deplorables”, indeed. In addition, he has caused his base to vote against issues that are actually of great importance to them, such as basic health care and education for their children.

While you might wish that the traditional Republicans would be more than a little ashamed of their new President, there has been very little evidence of that, so far. After all, Trump has helped them win votes and secure offices in DC, all of which allows the main objective of the top 5% to be achieved. Thus, the traditional Republicans are hesitant to criticize this “golden goose” who provides for them the misplaced and irresponsible votes of Trump’s base.

Without use of real information, Trump has skillfully fooled his base supporters with falsehoods and one-liners repeated endlessly and with great assurance. He has perhaps not yet raised himself to the lever of our planet’s very best spellbinding BSer, Adolf Hitler, but he appears to be getting there. His mesmerized audiences do resemble those of the Fuhrer in the 1930’s and while Hitler required considerable police and military assistance to achieve the highest offices in Germany, Trump has done this merely by BSing.

In summary, our government is the way it is largely because of one well-organized political party whose main interests are merely the maintenance of the status quo and wealth for the top 5%. All of this has been accomplished by getting the votes of a vulnerable fraction of lower income Americans that don’t’ realize they are being taken for a ride by a President who cares less about them and our country than he does the maintenance of his own ill-begotten wealth and reputation.

OK, but what’s wrong with this if the Republicans have done it by totally legal means? The leaders of the Republican Party have accomplished this without landing in jail, although a few Trump facilitators have been tried and convicted. Thus, the strategy of the Republicans and Trump described would appear to have been a resounding success within our democratic system. All of this adds credence to Winston Churchill’s quotation: “The best argument against a democracy is a 5-minute conversation with the average voter” and to that of Will Rogers who added: “we have the best government money can buy”. Fortunately, Churchill also thought: “democracy is the worst form of government there is – except for all the others” and that: “Americans will find the best course of action – after they have tried all the others.”

Putting all of the above together, we should hope that someday soon we will have a representative government that is easier to understand and is facilitated by the advantages of credibility and common sense. Only if people understand and support their government can great challenges be successfully addressed. Concerning the most important issue of climate change, the only way the present Republican Party would ever support it would be if the wealthy 5% figures out a way to make a lot of money from it. Because they are so deeply invested in our fossil-fuel-saturated business-as-usual economy, however, that outcome seems very unlikely. Therefore, it presently appears that the Democrats, only, offer any hope of addressing this issue in a timely manner and we should all wish them well in 2020.

In the upcoming debates among the Democratic candidates for 2020, we should dedicate at least one of them to the single issue of climate change.


Responses

  1. And of all the field of Democratic hopefuls only Bernie and Jay Inslee seem to have the knowledge that only systemic change to both our economic system and our social system will be enough change to potentially limit global warming by demonstrating leadership to all other nations. It would be a shock to all those other governments were we to begin the real systemic change that must happen. Piecemeal plans offered by all others running for office will do less to ward off the worst effects of rapid global warming. I suppose that Elizabeth Warren or Cory Booker might also provide good plans but not plans that begin the real systemic changes that must happen for coordinated international actions significant enough to address warming to result. Trump must be beaten and he must be beaten by Bernie or Jay Inslee.

  2. Eric,

    This paragraph alone proves you are entirely out of touch with reality:

    “The GOP’s answer to this has been to get as many votes as they can from various splinter groups in the country by endorsing the fringe issues that are of central importance to those groups. Thus, we find the Republicans leading the charge on various controversial side issues that are of little importance to the wealthy. These issues might concern abortion, religion, gender and racial inequality, gun control, and immigration policies, for examples. Some of these are hot button issues and have great potential for securing votes from the so-called “base” of our new-age Republican Party. Thus, this new Republican Party now consists of a few multimillionaires and a massive collection of oddball, single-issue enthusiasts.”

    Self-serving rubbish from someone who, evidently, supports the so-called “Democratic Party” who is consumed with identity politics, the politics of greed, and powerlust. Democrats, like the rest of the far-Left Progressive movement, are not constrained by truth, finding it an inconvenient obstacle to their lust for power.

    One might better observe the Republican Party, though certainly not perfect, behaves far more honorably than does their opposition.

    Fringe issues? Really?

    Consider the accomplishments of the Trump Administration all while being assailed by a hostile news media and the subject of the most egregious abuse of government power in our nation’s history, the deceit, lies, and seditious acts that led to the infamous Mueller inquisition that was unfounded, headed by a conflicted leader, and used the most politicized dishonest bunch of investigator/prosecutors ever assembled for a single task.

    Yet Trump has managed to (1) enact tax legislation that had ZERO Democrat support that lowered the taxes of everyone, including low-income taxpayers, and corporate taxes (which are ultimately paid by those same low income people who buy the goods corporations produce) that repatriated lost businesses who fled to other countries that created (2) more domestic jobs, reversing the employment malaise of eight years of incompetent “Progressive” policies, (3) eliminated the Obamacare unconstitutional mandate, (4) eliminated regulatory burdens that stifled economic development and jobs, (5) brought the longest and strongest economic boom in our nation’s history with (6) record high minority employment, (7) record high female employment, (8) the strongest sustained GDP growth in many decades, (9) the strongest stock rally in history (helping individual retirement accounts), (10) ended the war on fossil fuels while (11) pulling the U.S. from participation in the dubious Paris Accord climate change fiasco that will have zero impact on global climate. There’s more, but any normal person would get the picture by now.

    Yet you focus negatively on what you characterize as the “hot button” issues of “abortion, religion, gender and racial inequality, gun control, and immigration policies” which happen to be of great concern to most Americans.

    “Abortion” of another distinct life is not “control over a woman’s body” it is murder. A woman has a special purpose in life, an inconvenient fact to the Left. Only a woman can sustain human life on Earth. When a woman becomes pregnant of her own choice (whether intentional or not), she acquires an obligation to the life she carries that only a real threat of significant physical harm to the woman could mitigate. The developing human within a pregnant woman has distinct DNA and blood type, hardly supporting the false claim of “part of my body” abortionists claim. Abortion is murder. Anyone who wants to know about why fewer woman are seeking abortions need only watch “Unplanned” (the story of a rising young woman at Planned Parenthood) to understand why.

    “Religion” is under assault by the predominantly secular Left as never before in this country’s history. Our Constitution does NOT require “separation of church and state,” the all-too familliar mantra of the secular Left who cannot bear allowing others to hold views dissimilar to their own (see ANTIFA and consult your own boiling blood at these comments). Our Constitution prohibits the Congress (not the people) from making any “law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” any law or regulation prohibiting the reading of old testament citations is unconstitutional, whether those readings are in private or public places and institutions. It is illegal for Congress to require any such readings just as it is illegal for Congress to prohibit them. Citations from the New Testament or the Koran or any other acknowledged religious texts is certainly constitutional and does not represent the “establishment of religion” to any educated, sane person.

    “Gender and racial inequality” is a fact of life. That doesn’t mean that the inequity should be tolerated if it is the basis for unreasonable discrimination by gender or race. We all discriminate… make choices based on our individual preferences and abilities. The term has been repeatedly abused to infer some nefarious motives. Genders are different. Nature discriminates between the two. Women can conceive and bear children, men cannot. Men are naturally physically stronger and more inclined to take risks that women would not take. Yes, these are generalities, but it is unlikely any woman will ever become a tackle, center, or guard in the NFL. The point being each gender has its strong and weak points, but there are lmitations that will always prevent them from becoming “equal” (which should be perceived as a good thing). Same is true of the races. Look at the population of NFL, NBA, and NHL athletes. Does anyone seriously believe some nefarious “discrimination” is affot because the NFL and NBA are dominated by men with a strong Black DNA component? Or that the NHL is dominated by men with a strong White DNA component? The different skills and physical attributes required of those sports are naturally characteristic of different racial and gender groups. The notion of “equality” in such cases (that are present in many other professions as well) is ludicrous and speaks to the “one size fits all” mentality of the Left.

    “Gun control” is limited by “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” By all means reasonable, prevent the emotionally-disturbed (e.g., ANTIFA thugs) from having access to guns. But the reason the people have that right is to protect our constitutional republic from the assault by those who proclaim it to be a “democracy” (which is not even a form of government, it is a process by which governments change). If citizens were educated and understood our form of government that puts our Constitution superior to all other laws, domestic or foreign, this country would have far fewer “democrats.” Do you know that the term “democracy” in any form is not mentioned once in either our Constitution or Declaration of Independence. Why? Because it is a means used by those seeking total centralized governmental power over the people (e.g., Socialists, Fascists, Nazis, Progressives, Marxists, etc., ad nauseam) through stringent regulations and “mandatory” participation in social programs (Social Security, Medicare, and by design Obamacare). There has never been a successful domestic coup or foreign invasion of this country because of the number of well-armed non-criminal civilian citizens that constitute the worlds largest “army” against oppressive centralized government that sacrifices the individual to the State.

    “Immigration policies” without which we have no nation. The Democrat Party in concert with some GOP support (Paul Ryan among the most despicable), has created a deeply-flawed “immigration” policy for the sole purpose of enhancing future Democrat Party power. The end justifies the means. For years, Democrat politicians have fostered the mess at the southern border while sometimes even decrying “illegal immigration” while they were creating the means for it to become rampant. The plan is to flood the country with aliens who arrived illegally and then try to convert them to citizens by either fraud (driver license = registration to vote) as is done in California where a large portion of Hillary Clinton’s vote margin came from non-citizen voters. The non-citizens are in place and the Left sues to prevent citizenship from being a question on the census(?!?!) whose very purpose is to enumerate to apportion members of the House and Electoral College votes! It is clear what is going on. The Left cannot win by civilized means, so they cheat, lie, deceive, etc.

    And that is exactly what you are doing when it comes to climate change.

    If you are so well-informed about climate change, consider the following.

    At its heart, human-caused climate change theory says that human emissions from fossil fuel use are causing atmospheric CO2 to increase and that increase, in turn is responsible for global warming (climate change).

    If that is the case, then explain the following:

    In the 65 years (1880-1944) global average surface temperature increased at an average rate of 0.007˚C per year. In the 74 years (1945-2018) global average surface temperature also increased at an average rate of 0.007˚C per year.

    Yet, in the 65 years (1880-1944) global average atmospheric CO2 increased at an average rate of 0.299 ppm per year while during the 74 years (1945-2018) global average CO2 increased by an average rate of 1.329 ppm per year.

    To summarize, while the rate of temperature increase per year remained constant over the 138 years (1880-2018), the rate of atmospheric CO2 change was nearly four-and-a-half (444%) greater.

    What does that tell you about the relationship between changing atmospheric CO2 and changing temperature?

    Or are you in denial of the obvious?

    • Bob,

      Most of your comments provided your opinion on various issues. You are entitled to them even though I didn’t provide my own opinions on those various issues. Your last comment, however, concerns your view of some scientific data concerning T rise and CO2 levels. .

      That analysis should be ignored at the onset because you have erroneously assumed that temperature increases in units of degrees C should be linearly related to increases in CO2 emissions. That is, your scientific analysis is too simplistic the have useful meaning. In addition, the Earth’s temperature is also affected by other variables that must be taken into consideration.

      • Really? You mean your third paragraph isn’t opinion? Of course it is.

        Regarding your view that my example was “simplistic” that is how I would characterize your view of it.

        You inferred that an average rate of change implied a simple linear relationship. It does no such thing. But it should tug at your common sense.

        I used 139 years of CO2 change and temperature change. If that isn’t enough to establish the veracity or invalidity of the GHG theory, then GHGs are not a significant force for climate change as claimed by the IPCC.

        If for 65 years, atmospheric CO2 has increased by 16% of the 139 year increase whereas during the last 74 years CO2 increases by 84% of the 139 year growth, the change in temperature should reflect some difference if the relationship is as claimed by GHG climate change theory. But temperature increased 46% during the time CO2 increased 16% while temperature increased just 54% while CO2 increased by 84%.

        You have to admit that such evidence is clearly not consistent with the relationship claimed by GHG climate change theory.

        If you don’t agree, then please explain how such a massive contradiction can be mitigated by “other variables” that are claimed to not be as significant a climate change force as CO2?

        Indeed, there is simply no sound evidence in any record of atmospheric CO2 and temperature or climate that doesn’t contradict the GHG climate change theory.

        Yes, climate changes and it is changing to some extent all the time. But there is no valid evidence in any record that supports the notion that GHGs have anything other than a chance relationship with temperature/climate change. That isn’t my opinion, its in the evidence confirmed by contemporary measurements (139 years), ice core records, and geologic evidence.

        It simply isn’t possible to explain away all the contradictions in observed evidence to GHG climate change theory.

        There is no correlation between changing atmospheric CO2 and changing temperature or climate over any meaningful portion of any record going back 550 million years.

  3. Bob,

    If you think you have a better view of the global warming issue than professional climate scientists, you should submit your “work” to the climate science journals. I would be very pleased to see that you are right and that increased atmospheric CO2 levels do not present a big problem.

    Eric

    • Eric,

      My work will be published within the year. It is in the form of a book that examines the historic record of changing atmospheric CO2 and temperature/climate change found in measured contemporary records, ice core records, and the geologic record.

      The records are examined to see whether they reflect or contradict GHG climate change theory. Correlation coefficients are examined for many ranges of contemporary timeframes as well as the geologic record.

      The material is intended for both scientists and non-scientists. To make it interesting, the reader is considered a member of the jury in a trial of CO2 in the court of public opinion (in this case, informed opinion). The IPCC (and its many supporters) are the prosecution team. The book presents the defense based on the recorded evidence (contemporary, ice core, geologic).

      The question put to the jury is: Do the records support or contradict GHG climate change theory that claims changing atmospheric CO2 is a strong force for changing global average surface temperature (or climate in longer term records)?

      Readers (jurors) will come to their own conclusions based on the evidence applied to The Scientific Method’s requirement that every theory must be consistent with observation (the evidence found in nature).

      My opinion has nothing to do with the answer.

      In fact, when I began the research I really had no idea where it would lead. I was surprised to learn that the evidence, when examined against the theory, unequivocally contradicts GHG climate change theory’s claimed relationship between changing atmospheric CO2 and changing GAST/climate. The records show the relationship is one of pure chance, i.e., the flip of a fair coin is a better determinant of the response of temperature (or climate) to changing atmospheric CO2 than is the array of CMIP5 climate simulation models (shown by Dr. John Christy to actually produce evidence the theory vastly overstates the impact of atmospheric CO2 growth).

      Indeed, the records show that if GHGs have an ability to affect GAST or climate, the effect is so minor as to be undectable in the records.

      Here are some interesting facts to ponder:

      In the USA’s state all-time high temperature records, of the 50 states, 32 (64%) have set their all-time high temperature record prior to 1959; 18 (36%) have set their all-time high temperature record since 1950. Since 2000, just three all-time high temperature records have been set.

      Are these figures consistent with the belief that unprecedented warmth has been experienced since 1950? If, in fact, climate is warming an at an “unprecedented” rate and recent years have been “the hottest on record” shouldn’t the all-time record high temperatures for the 50 states reflect climate warming?

      Not in the book, but something I offer for “true believers” in the GHG climate change theory:

      Since all photon radiation obeys the same laws of physics, describe a visible light analogy in terms of lumens of light to the GHG climate change theory measuring heat (usually in watts). If such an analogy can be described, a useful experiment could be performed.

      I am glad you have an open mind to the question, despite the nearly 40-year campaign supporting GHG climate change theory. You will be pleased to learn that the evidence in nature contradicts the theory.

      Bob

  4. Bob, Again you should have your work assessed first by the professionals. Just as if you have a question concern heart surgery you should address the very best heart surgeons. After verification of your ideas by the experts, only then is it appropriate to explain this info to the public, as Einstein and Feynman for example did. Good luck, Eric

    • Eric,

      Let me explain why I will not follow the course you recommend:

      1. As a retired “professional” scientist, I do not belong to any professional societies and have no interest in joining at this stage of my life.

      2. I have witnessed how “the professionals” deal with scientists who question their dogma. Consider the case of Dr. John Christy, UAH, who, while reviewing working group material for the IPCC’s AR5, discovered that the CMIP5 climate simulation models provided clear evidence they were based on flawed theory. Christy discovered that when the models were run using a much-reduced atmospheric CO2 (by the vastly over-stated IPCC version of the human contribution), the models agreed very well with real data (good “hindcasting”). However, when actual CO2 figures were used, the models consistently vastly over-predicted temperatures. This is a clear indication that the models are being driven by a flawed theory that puts far too much temperature output for given CO2 input. When Christy brought his findings to the attention of the IPCC “professionals” in charge of the AR5 report, they not only failed to mention his important finding anywhere in the summary report, they created obtuse difficult to interpret graphics for the working group report that few, if any, readers would be able to interpret in a way that revealed Christy’s important finding.

      3. To the “true believer” community, GHG climate change theory is dogma, not to be questioned.

      Given the reception IPCC climate change “professionals” give to scientists who find their theory wanting, why would I want to subject myself to that kind of treatment?

      Finally, the contemporary information I present is evidence straight from official US government records available online for global average atmospheric CO2 and global average surface temperature anomalies. The evidence is presented in clear easy-to-understand graphics that do not require a scientific background to comprehend.

      The test is simple. We do not have to know anything about how the IPCC reaches its “bottom line” conclusion that changing atmospheric CO2 is a “strong” force for climate change in order to challenge that conclusion with the clear evidence in the record.

      Some suggest that sufficient time is required for GHG theory to be reflected in nature. Really? All photon radiation travels at the speed of light. Therefore, any transfer of heat from surface to atmosphere via outbound IR radiant energy is virtually instantaneous. While an instance of this transfer would be insufficient to detect, the consistent transfer over the course of a full year should be clearly evident unless there were a stronger mitigating force overwhelming the CO2 change force.

      Yet, if that were the case then the AR5 chart SPM.3 that shows GHGs are the overwhelming climate change force (the basis for theorized “human-induced” climate change) is clearly nonsense!

      It doesn’t require either a science degree or confirmation by a small group of “professionals” whose pronouncements about climate change have been consistently wrong for nearly four decades to understand basic evidence in nature and how it strongly contradicts climate change theory.

      So, no, I’ll take my case to people who do not need to appeal to authority to support a rational position on climate change.

      Bottom line, climate change is real and a natural part of Earth’s atmospheric interaction with its surface as affected by solar insolation which, in turn is affected by a host of factors (geologic change, orbital change, solar change, among the most important).

      If you with to take issue with any of what I’ve stated, please do. I appreciate the opportunity to exchange views.

      Best,

      Bob

      • Bob,
        You apparently do not know how the scientific literature works. You don’t have to belong to any sci organization. Anyone can submit a paper to any of the peer reviewed journals at no cost to you. What you get out of that is at least a peer review by people with experience in the field. And one does not submit papers to the IPCC. The IPCC reads and considers paper that have passed the review process of the journals.

        If that process scares you off, well what does that say. One has to have a bit of courage and self confidence to operate at the higher levels of any endeavor. The other option of playing to the peanut gallery results in zip; Nobody cares if you don’t have the guts to put your best out there
        Eric

      • Nothing “scares” me off. And I’ll take your advice and look for an appropriate journal if one exists.

        You suggest the “IPCC reads and considers paper that have passed the review process of the journals.” Yet why do they bury inconvenient findings (Dr. Christy’s discovery while reviewing working group material for AR5) within their own materials?

        That suggests a selective interest in material that supports their chartered mission. It does not indicate an unbiased interest at all.


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